Geelong VR

Virtual Geelong
Team Name: 
NBT

Geelong VR is an immersive 1:1 scale reconstruction of Geelong in virtual reality. By creating a system to correctly place objects using latitude and longitude data, many different objects were able to be added into the virtual environment directly from the provided data sets.

I came to govhack knowing i wanted to build a virtual reality project, and when i saw that the provided data included 3d models of all buildings in the CBD, the choice was obvious.

Data sets

How it works

By using the provided location data, each of the 8117 objects is placed at the correct position in the virtual city. Each of these objects stores data derived from the data set, which users can view.

This project is for everyday users with access to VR tech. The virtual Geelong is fully navigable, and provides a 4 square kilometer area including the sections of Port Phillip Bay, reaching from the botanical gardens to the train station.

Users can interact with this environment using a game controller. A HUD is provided, giving users their current location in the city, as well as the names of any nearby wifi hotspots. A targeting reticle is provided, which alerts users when they are looking at an interactive object. Pressing a button on the controller will provide more data about the object they are viewing.

Possible Uses

  • Most obvious - Simplifies viewing any location-based data sets with latitude/longitude. Instead of combing through a large text file, or trying to determine which object you're after on a 2D map, it is possible to simply put on a VR headset and walk right up to the object you're interested in, with instant ability to access relevant data.
  • Tourism - By adding information such as tourist attractions and accomodation locations, it is possible for anyone planning a trip to walk around Geelong virtually before travelling. This can open their eyes to potential attractions that they may have initially missed, or at least help them keep their bearings when actually in Geelong (having 'already been there')
  • Education - Things such as virtual field trips can allow students to explore the entire city without fear of getting attacked or lost. Location-based facts can be added, and the experience can be augmented with historical photographs or video.

How does the project satisfy prize categories?

  • Best Digital Transformation Hack - Created an immersive virtual reality version of Geelong, allowing everyday users to view data on real objects simple by looking at them.
  • WiFi Geelong - Showed WiFi locations in a virtual environment, along with the name of the WiFi connections
  • Best Entreprenuerial Hack- Developed a framework and working proof-of-concept for immersive location-based data visualisation. This technology can be used to develop immersive reconstructions of all cities, giving potential for incredibly simple data visualisation for both coucils and everyday citizens. The software can be leveraged for tourism, allowing people in other countries to walk around a city before visiting it, seeing where to find accomodation, food, attractions, etc.. Education is another potential field. By using this software for virtual field trips, it is possible to integrate historical data / images, as well as including fun facts for children to find by allowing them to explore safely.
  • Best Open Government Data Hack - Developed a highly engaging virtual representation of Geelong. By turning Geelong into an immersive virtual world, everyday users are excited to explore the environment and see what data exists for objects that they would otherwise not think twice about.
  • Geelong Open Data Creative Challenge - Used multiple location-tagged data sets to create an immersive and interactive 1:1 scale Geelong in virtual reality. This software can  be built on to add more Geelong-specific data for uses in industries ranging from education to tourism. If further developed, this software will put pressure on Governments to release more interesting location-tagged data to populate the virtual world with.
  • Greater Geelong and Bellarine Access For All - While not a mobile app, providing a fully navigable 1:1 scale version of the CBD  allows users to explore the entire city from the comfort of their own home (with the aid of a VR headset). This software has significant potential for future development. Proposed solutions involve adding tourist hotspots and accomodation, including data on footpaths and marking many more locations for the Heads Up Display.
Datasets Used: 
Central Geelong 3D Massing Model: https://data.gov.au/dataset/central-geelong-3d-massing-model Geelong Trees: https://data.gov.au/dataset/geelong-trees Geelong Parking: https://data.gov.au/dataset/geelong-parking Geelong Road Signs: https://data.gov.au/dataset/geelong-road-signs2 Geelong Wi-Fi Usage: https://data.gov.au/dataset/geelong-wi-fi-usage Geelong Street Lights: https://data.gov.au/dataset/geelong-street-lights

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